Notice of Availability for the Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl and Gray Wolf, Siskiyou County, California; Categorical Exclusion, 13951-13952 [2019-06891]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 67 / Monday, April 8, 2019 / Notices recommendations to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which provides final funding approval for these projects. DATES: Written nominations must be postmarked by April 29, 2019. ADDRESSES: Please address and submit your nomination letters via U.S. mail or hand delivery to Mr. Jerome Ford, Assistant Director–Migratory Birds; North American Wetlands Conservation Council; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS:MB; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kari Duncan by email (preferred) at kari_ duncan@fws.gov, by telephone at 703– 358–1784, by U.S. mail at the address in ADDRESSES, or via the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Background In accordance with the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4401 et seq.; NAWCA), the State-private-Federal North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) meets to consider wetland acquisition, restoration, enhancement, and management projects for recommendation to, and final funding approval by, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) seeks nominations for individuals to be considered to fill one vacancy to serve as an ex officio nonvoting representative on the Council, which operates under statutory procedures established under NAWCA. The program has two cycles per year, and eligible proposals are reviewed and ranked by the Council each cycle. For more information about the Council, visit the following website: https:// www.fws.gov/birds/grants/northamerican-wetland-conservation-act/ north-american-wetland-conservationcouncil.php. Council Makeup Per 16 U.S.C. 4403, the Council consists of nine voting members (two permanent and seven appointed members), an alternate member, and ex officio members. The two permanent VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 members are the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of the Board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Secretary appoints all non-permanent members to the Council to 3-year staggered terms. Four Council members are to be directors of State fish and wildlife agencies representing the four migratory bird flyways, and three members are to represent different nonprofit organizations actively participating in wetland and migratory bird conservation activities. The alternate member, knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to fish, wildlife, and wetlands conservation, performs the duties of a Council member in the event of a vacancy or absence. The Secretary is authorized and encouraged to include ex officio nonvoting members representing Canada, Mexico, other Federal agencies, nonprofit charitable organizations, and tribal organizations. In the event that an appointment lapses, members continue to serve until reappointed or replaced. Nomination Method and Eligibility Per 16 U.S.C. 4403(c), The Secretary is authorized and encouraged to include as ex officio non-voting members of the Council representatives of: Federal, provincial, territorial, or State government agencies of Canada and Mexico; the Environmental Protection Agency and other appropriate Federal agencies, in addition to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and nonprofit charitable organizations and Native American interests, including tribal organizations. Individuals must be participating actively in one or more wetlands conservation projects under NAWCA, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, or the Tripartite Agreement. The ex officio member will be appointed to a threeyear term that will expire on March 31, 2022. Nominations should include a resume that provides contact information and a description of the nominee’s qualifications that would enable the Department of the Interior to make an informed decision regarding the candidate’s suitability to serve on the Council. Dated: April 2, 2019. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2019–06827 Filed 4–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13951 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2018–N170; FXES 11140800000–190–FF 08EYRE00] Notice of Availability for the Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl and Gray Wolf, Siskiyou County, California; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application. AGENCY: This notice advises the public that members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust (applicant) have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered Species Act. If granted, the permit will authorize the take of both the northern spotted owl and the gray wolf that may occur incidental to land management activities in connection with ongoing livestock grazing and forest management operations that can restore, enhance, or maintain habitat for the species on the Butte Creek Ranch in Siskiyou County, California. The documents available for review and comment are the applicant’s safe harbor agreement and our draft environmental action statement, supporting a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. DATES: Submitting Comments: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any one of the following methods. • U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery: Jenny Ericson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1829 South Oregon Street, Yreka, CA 97520. • Electronic mail: fw8_yfwo_ comments@fws.gov. In the subject line of the email, include ‘‘Butte Creek Ranch SHA.’’ • Fax: 530–842–4517. Obtaining Documents: You may obtain the applicant’s safe harbor agreement and our draft environmental action statement by one of the following methods. • U.S. Mail: See address above. • In Person: Copies of the draft SHA and environmental action statement are available for public inspection during regular business hours at the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). • Internet: www.fws.gov/yreka. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1 13952 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 67 / Monday, April 8, 2019 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jenny Ericson, at our Yreka office (address above), by telephone at 530– 841–3115, or via the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust (applicant) for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit (permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If granted, the permit will authorize the take of both the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) and the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that may occur incidental to land management activities in connection with ongoing livestock grazing and forest management operations that can restore, enhance, or maintain habitat for the species on the Butte Creek Ranch in Siskiyou County, California. The documents available for review and comment are the applicant’s safe harbor agreement (SHA) and our draft environmental action statement (EAS), which supports a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We invite comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. Background Under SHAs, participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their properties to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat to benefit species listed under the ESA. SHAs, and the subsequent enhancement of survival permit issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation efforts for listed species by assuring property owners that they will not be subject to increased land use restriction as a result of efforts to attract or increase the numbers or distribution of a listed species on their property. Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits through SHAs are found in 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 17.32(c). jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Application: Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor Agreement Members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust have applied for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA for the Butte Creek Ranch. The permit addresses incidental take of the northern spotted owl and gray wolf that may occur during ongoing livestock grazing and forest management VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 operations on approximately 3,468 acres of forestland owned by the applicant. The Butte Creek Ranch is managed under an existing conservation easement (easement) that ensures preservation and protection of the property in perpetuity. Easement restrictions on management activities are incorporated into the SHA as conservation measures to benefit and contribute to the recovery of the northern spotted owl and gray wolf. Northern spotted owls have not been detected on or adjacent to the property, although forest management activities may lead to their presence in the future. If northern spotted owls occupy the property during the permit term, covered activities are expected to result in the incidental take of a maximum of 10 juveniles and two adults during periodic timber harvest. The baseline habitat conditions for northern spotted owl on the property are estimated to be 65 acres of nesting/roosting habitat and 1,045 acres of foraging habitat. The SHA will increase the baseline for northern spotted owls by retaining habitat elements (e.g., snags, large old trees) and developing and perpetually maintaining forests that are older and structurally more complex than that which currently exists. The SHA will achieve a net conservation benefit for northern spotted owl by increasing the amount of suitable habitat over the permit term and by managing the threats of barred owl and unnaturally severe wildfire. The take avoidance measures in the SHA will minimize the potential for incidental take through surveys and seasonal timing restrictions prior to any timber operations in suitable habitat. Wolves have been documented using the Butte Creek Ranch and will likely continue to use the property in the future because the current level of human activity, including road use and construction, is not expected to increase under the SHA. The covered activities are expected to result in the incidental take of a maximum of 15 juvenile wolves over the permit term if cattle operations or forest management activities occur near an active den or rendezvous site, which may lead to abandonment of the site or of young. The monitoring of wolf activity and the wolf protection measures in the SHA will minimize the potential for incidental take. The SHA will achieve a net conservation benefit and increase the baseline for wolves by maintaining an area of limited human disturbance, improving deer and elk habitat, and using livestock husbandry practices to avoid livestock and wolf conflict. Because the property will be managed under the SHA to be a secure and PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 relatively undisturbed location, it will provide habitat for dispersing wolves and may potentially become part of an established territory that supports a wolf pack. Public Availability of Comments Written comments we receive become part of the administrative record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can request in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 46.305). Jenny Ericson, Field Supervisor, Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office, Yreka, California. [FR Doc. 2019–06891 Filed 4–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–HQ–MB–2019–N011; FXGO1664091HCC0–FF09D00000–189] Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group; Call for Nominations Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Call for nominations. AGENCY: The Secretary of the Interior seeks nominations for individuals to be considered to fill one vacancy to serve as a member of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group. The Advisory Group operates under statutory procedures established in the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which promotes long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 67 (Monday, April 8, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13951-13952]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06891]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2018-N170; FXES 11140800000-190-FF 08EYRE00]


Notice of Availability for the Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor 
Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl and Gray Wolf, Siskiyou County, 
California; Categorical Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that members of the Hart Family 
2003 Trust (applicant) have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service 
for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered 
Species Act. If granted, the permit will authorize the take of both the 
northern spotted owl and the gray wolf that may occur incidental to 
land management activities in connection with ongoing livestock grazing 
and forest management operations that can restore, enhance, or maintain 
habitat for the species on the Butte Creek Ranch in Siskiyou County, 
California. The documents available for review and comment are the 
applicant's safe harbor agreement and our draft environmental action 
statement, supporting a categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act. We invite comments from the public and 
Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments.

DATES: Submitting Comments: To ensure consideration, we must receive 
written comments by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any one of the following 
methods.
     U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery: Jenny Ericson, Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1829 South Oregon Street, 
Yreka, CA 97520.
     Electronic mail: [email protected]. In the subject 
line of the email, include ``Butte Creek Ranch SHA.''
     Fax: 530-842-4517.
    Obtaining Documents: You may obtain the applicant's safe harbor 
agreement and our draft environmental action statement by one of the 
following methods.
     U.S. Mail: See address above.
     In Person: Copies of the draft SHA and environmental 
action statement are available for public inspection during regular 
business hours at the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office (address above).
     Internet: www.fws.gov/yreka.

[[Page 13952]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jenny Ericson, at our Yreka office 
(address above), by telephone at 530-841-3115, or via the Federal Relay 
Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
have received an application from members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust 
(applicant) for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit (permit) under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). If granted, the permit will authorize the take of both the 
northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) and the gray wolf 
(Canis lupus) that may occur incidental to land management activities 
in connection with ongoing livestock grazing and forest management 
operations that can restore, enhance, or maintain habitat for the 
species on the Butte Creek Ranch in Siskiyou County, California. The 
documents available for review and comment are the applicant's safe 
harbor agreement (SHA) and our draft environmental action statement 
(EAS), which supports a categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We invite 
comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local 
governments.

Background

    Under SHAs, participating landowners voluntarily undertake 
management activities on their properties to enhance, restore, or 
maintain habitat to benefit species listed under the ESA. SHAs, and the 
subsequent enhancement of survival permit issued pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal 
property owners to implement conservation efforts for listed species by 
assuring property owners that they will not be subject to increased 
land use restriction as a result of efforts to attract or increase the 
numbers or distribution of a listed species on their property. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of 
survival permits through SHAs are found in 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 
17.32(c).

Application: Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor Agreement

    Members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust have applied for a 50-year 
enhancement of survival permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA for 
the Butte Creek Ranch. The permit addresses incidental take of the 
northern spotted owl and gray wolf that may occur during ongoing 
livestock grazing and forest management operations on approximately 
3,468 acres of forestland owned by the applicant.
    The Butte Creek Ranch is managed under an existing conservation 
easement (easement) that ensures preservation and protection of the 
property in perpetuity. Easement restrictions on management activities 
are incorporated into the SHA as conservation measures to benefit and 
contribute to the recovery of the northern spotted owl and gray wolf.
    Northern spotted owls have not been detected on or adjacent to the 
property, although forest management activities may lead to their 
presence in the future. If northern spotted owls occupy the property 
during the permit term, covered activities are expected to result in 
the incidental take of a maximum of 10 juveniles and two adults during 
periodic timber harvest. The baseline habitat conditions for northern 
spotted owl on the property are estimated to be 65 acres of nesting/
roosting habitat and 1,045 acres of foraging habitat. The SHA will 
increase the baseline for northern spotted owls by retaining habitat 
elements (e.g., snags, large old trees) and developing and perpetually 
maintaining forests that are older and structurally more complex than 
that which currently exists. The SHA will achieve a net conservation 
benefit for northern spotted owl by increasing the amount of suitable 
habitat over the permit term and by managing the threats of barred owl 
and unnaturally severe wildfire. The take avoidance measures in the SHA 
will minimize the potential for incidental take through surveys and 
seasonal timing restrictions prior to any timber operations in suitable 
habitat.
    Wolves have been documented using the Butte Creek Ranch and will 
likely continue to use the property in the future because the current 
level of human activity, including road use and construction, is not 
expected to increase under the SHA. The covered activities are expected 
to result in the incidental take of a maximum of 15 juvenile wolves 
over the permit term if cattle operations or forest management 
activities occur near an active den or rendezvous site, which may lead 
to abandonment of the site or of young. The monitoring of wolf activity 
and the wolf protection measures in the SHA will minimize the potential 
for incidental take. The SHA will achieve a net conservation benefit 
and increase the baseline for wolves by maintaining an area of limited 
human disturbance, improving deer and elk habitat, and using livestock 
husbandry practices to avoid livestock and wolf conflict. Because the 
property will be managed under the SHA to be a secure and relatively 
undisturbed location, it will provide habitat for dispersing wolves and 
may potentially become part of an established territory that supports a 
wolf pack.

Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments we receive become part of the administrative 
record associated with this action. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can request in your comment that we 
withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their 
entirety.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) 
and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 
CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 46.305).

Jenny Ericson,
Field Supervisor, Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office, Yreka, California.
[FR Doc. 2019-06891 Filed 4-5-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P